Monday, May 4, 2015

Indoor Fun on a Rainy Easter

I was terribly afraid that for Piper's second Easter, I would end up with no blog-worthy material. I knew the forecast called for rain, and I was worried that her pretty Easter dress would go to waste and her egg hunt would produce no usable pictures, as it would have to be indoors...not easy to sneakily hide eggs when everyone is cooped up inside together.  Luckily, I was wrong.  As a matter of fact, I ended up with some adorable photos and a few way-too-cute videos to my absolute delight!

So no more delay, let's get this Easter party started...I have a major 2nd birthday post to get crackin' on!

First off, I should have taken some pics of the actual eggs we dyed.  I have yet to let Piper join in the egg-dyeing fun, she a little too rambunctious still and I just know egg dye would end up EVERYWHERE, but she did watch the process and after they ere dry I let her decorate them with stickers.  This year we dyed two dozen eggs and had another 30 plastic fillable eggs.  Yes folks, that's 42 eggs for one child!  I'll happily admit that I sometimes overdo things, but the family  motto is "it's not done till it's overdone!"  In other words, I'm just sticking with tradition and "you don't monkey with tradition"!  If you know the movie that quote came from, please take a stab at it in the comments section, you may just win a fabulous prize!

You can sort of see one of the eggs here...my awesome sequin egg!
I'll give one word of advice when it comes to dyeing eggs...do not do it the night before Easter Sunday!  It took forever and it was tedious.  In the end however, our eggs turned out so much better than last year.  This year I stuck with PAAS brand and didn't try anything fancy like shiny eggs or swirled/tye-dyed eggs.  This year it was just dip in water or vinegar and wait.  The most extravagant items contained in the egg kits were stickers, some glitter that did not stick as per the instructions (such a waste because they were pretty up until the time the glitter rubbed right off, thankfully discovered early on), some rubber bands to make banded designs, and some beads and sequins you could glue on...those I liked and the glue was provided.  It took a little time to dry, but still worked out much better than the craptastic kits I chose last year that caused the eggs dye never to dry or just missed the mark on the advertised outcome...by a very long shot!

Anyways, after all the eggs were complete, I finally got Piper to bed.  After that, it was basket filling time!  I used her same Easter basket I handcrafted last year because it is just so dang pretty.

So glad this year I remembered the cellophane wrapping!
I'm not a huge fan of too many sweets in the basket, so I chose a lot of toys and other such items to go with the smaller amount of candy.  As you can see from the pic below, there was quite a loot in the basket! And that pic doesn't show everything!

Needless to say, Piper loved the goodies she received!

List of items in this years basket:

Candy items (some in basket and some in hidden plastic eggs): Smarties of various flavors and styles, chocolate footballs (that's what we call them here, the mini chocolate eggs in foil wrappers), carrot shaped back of Reese's Pieces, several sheets of candy dots, a Peep's marshmallow sucker, a lamb PEZ dispenser, a few mini chocolate bunnies, a large chocolate bunny with M & M's in it, and finally my personal favorite...an 8-piece assorted color collection of rock candy!  (Admittedly, those are going to end up being all mine, although I do let her have some once in awhile).

Toys and such (some in basket and some in hidden plastic eggs):  Four colored plastic bangle bracelets, a plastic Easter themed charm bracelet, a mini pink bunny, a medium sized wind-up hopping bunny, a large wind-up hopping baby chick, some cool little animals that are hard to describe (you will see them in the video of her opening her basket- set of four), two fun headbands (one Easter themed and the other with funky hair floppy things on it), a mini water gun, a light-up wand that changes colors and blinks, a tye-dyed whistle, 3 colorful bottles of bubbles (3 more hidden away for later), one large stuffed pink rabbit, miniature bunnies with parachutes attached (so dang cute and fun!), little fuzzy baby chicks (my mom said these were her favorire growing up, had no idea when I purchased them), and an Elsa doll (because every little girl is obsessed with Frozen).

I think that covers everything, but it's possible I left something off the list...hard to remember everything this far out.  Regardless, she loved her basket and all the goodies hidden in the plastic eggs.  And now for the video of her unwrapping her basket followed by one of her hunting eggs...too cute, so get ready!

She is so deliberate about unwrapping things.
Definitely like to savor the moment!

She's very good at finding eggs!  
Easter Bunny will have to step up his game next year!

As you can see from the video, Piper is quite adept at hunting eggs down.  I'm really going to have to step up my game next year.  It wasn't easy hiding the eggs, that's for sure.  I basically had to have Nana give her a bath so I could play Easter Bunny.  When she got out of the tub, before we had time to dress her up, she had already found an egg and was seriously wanting to hunt naked!  Finally we managed to get her into her bedroom, where no eggs were hidden, and get her into her Easter dress.  I was not about to let the fact that it was raining outside ruin her getting to wear that dress, I love it! Anyhoo, here are some more shots of her getting her hunt on.  And yes, most of these are of her back...hard to get a pic from the front when she's on the move!













As previously mentioned,I had 42 eggs hidden.  Guess how long it took her to find them?  I believe we were under the 20 minute mark, for sure.  Once they were all found, it was time to sit down and check out the goodies inside the plastic eggs.  Finally some pics of her face!





She made sure to share her finding inside every egg!

Next, we moved to a more desirable location to try and get some cuter pics and watch her devour candy dots...

Piper is officially candy dots obsessed!
Her new "cheese" face!

I mean seriously obsessed!

Playing with her fuzzy baby chicks.
The famous new "cheese" face again.
I'm dreading school pictures in the future!
Reese's Pieces!


And after all the fun, even little pretty princesses have to go potty before continuing to play...but she didn't stop with the candy, notice the PEZ dispenser in hand...this is why I limit the candy!


In the end, despite the rainy day and having to make do with indoor fun, we all had a blast and Easter went off without a hitch.  I'm hoping to get her back in that dress for some outdoor pics sometime soon.  It really is too pretty to waste on just indoor photos.  And of all the photos I took that day, this last one is my favorite.  I think she just looks like a little doll in it.  It's not easy getting Piper to sit still for a picture anymore, so when I capture one that looks good without a hint of blur from a constantly moving body in motion whilst using my cell phone instead of the fancy cam, I'm a happy camper!
Yep, she's my precious doll-face!
Well, that about wraps up this blog post.  Glad I finally managed to get all my pics in one place!  It took me longer than I really wanted, but goodness knows we've had so much going on in our family that I'm just happy to be getting this posted before next Easter.  What can you expect next?   The 2nd birthday post, yay!!!  I took Piper to Dallas for a weekend adventure instead of throwing a party and we had a blast!  I've got a lot of ground to cover for that one, so it's time to get a-moving and a-shaking on it.  While you patiently wait, take a few moments and throw some votes our way, or share us with a friend...we always love new followers!


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Friday, March 27, 2015

Welcome Spring, I Completely Missed Winter!

Well, the title of this post is completely true.  I did not miss Winter. Not a single cold, dreary wonderful day of it.  I did, however, miss out on writing.  Needless to say, life has been busy and as Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."  That's been my motto this Winter.  I've taken the time to sit back and enjoy my daughter in all her rambunctiousness, and while this may have set me months back on my blogging, it did not set me a moment back on watching her learn and grow.  For that I have no regrets.  So now that Spring is upon us, I decided it's high time I catch all of you up on what's gone down in Piper's world the past few months.  Some of this will be painless and quick, aka pictures and videos.  Mainly because I cannot recall every single detail of everything that's happened in the past three or so months.  And you wouldn't want me to anyway. I'm already long-winded enough!  As I draw closer to the present, more words will appear, although there will still be plenty of pictures, you know me! So on that note, let's get this party started with December.

December 2014-

Once again it was a fantastic Christmas.  Piper wracked up across the board.  Snowbelle, our Elf on the Shelf, made her second appearance and Santa spoiled Piper rotten for being such a little darling.

Having tea with Woody, Jesse, and Cinderella...inside a birdcage!
(not the same Woody and Jesse Santa brought her)
Having fun on the rocking horse!
Looks like someone went skiing overnight!
Piper also became obsessed with snowmen, no thanks to Frozen, Olivia, and the Hallmark store!


Christmas Eve she got to dress up and play princess, although I didn't get that many pics of her.

So adore this dress!  Wish I had gotten better shots of it.
She was such the doll!
Enjoying the festivities from Papa's lap.
A little blurry but she's just so dang adorable!
Love that profile, too!
Such an intense face...wonder what she was thinking at the point...
And on Christmas morning, well she just got downright confused, lol!  I swear I didn't think she would ever turn around and see all of her Xmas loot!


I just love how she completely has no idea what to do once she discovers the room full of surprises just for her.  I think she was definitely in shock for a few moments.

I thought initially that the Toy Story gang would end up being her most cherished presents, as she is obsessed with all things Toy Story.

Piper's Toy Story gang!
She even has an extreme crush on Buzz Lightyear.  She hugs and kisses all her "dolls," but it took her weeks before she would stop being bashful and coy with Buzz. But back to what I was saying...as the months have passed, she has gotten so into her kitchen it's astounding.

Love this kitchen, and so does Piper!
(Kitchen by Step 2)
She makes a mean coffee with bacon and spaghetti sauce mixed in...or whatever weird food item she decides to put into the coffee pot. By the way, the kitchen I got her, excuse me I mean Santa got her, is totally awesome!  It makes noises, is obviously a walk-in, comes with pots, pans, food (including 5 spice bottles and salt and pepper shakers), dishes of all sorts, coffee pot, and telephone, too.  Oh, and there is an extra stool for guests to sit on while you serve them that oh-so-yummy bacon coffee!  The burner makes different noises depending on if you put a pot or skillet on it, the microwave makes sounds, and the phone makes all the noises a phone is supposed to make.  As a matter of fact, Piper has taken her phone talking to a whole new level.  She now has very in-depth conversations.  She says hello, asks questions, stops to hear answers, and I can tell she has also been bombarded with telemarketers at times given her attitude.  I even heard her say with a nice sarcastic eye-rolling tone, now don't take offense to this, "Jesus Christ!" and hang up with a sigh of exasperation.  I wonder where she picked that up from?  I'm pleading the 5th!

She also got from Santa a great new easel, lots of Olivia loot, and tons of reusable sticker books and paint with water books.  She is definitely a little artist and has an extreme fascination with stickers and all things Olivia, so Santa did good!  On top of that, she got an adorable monster bowling set, a slew of puzzles, some string beads, a retro Candyland game and fishing game, and a retro Fischer-Price record player.  I loved mine as a kid, and I see some toys never get old.  Finally, she got musical instruments galore!  She loves percussion instruments, so to add to her drum sets now she has maracas, a tambourine, cymbals, some clacky thingy, a triangle, and one of those wooden stick things you bang with another wooden stick...yeah, I've got my instrument terminology down!

See record player on left and bowling set on the right.
Here she is cooking up a storm!
Blurry, but you get the point.
Here are the board games, instruments, puzzles, and sticker books.
The Olivia loot!


A little blurry, but here she is admiring her loot!
Finally, the easel which is a chalk board on one side and magnetic on the other (oh, I forgot to add the magnetic letters
and magnetic princess stuff to the list).  It can also hold paper.  Also pictured are some more sticker books and the paint books.
And now some random shots...

Is all this really for me?
She loves this game!
And she was good at it right from the start!
See the milk and cookies on the fireplace?
Admiring all her goodies!
Yeah, she may have gotten a little spoiled again this Christmas.  I won't even go into what all she got from relatives and her stocking stuffers. Well, one thing I do wan to mention is the reindeer bell Santa left in her stocking.  It was just like the one from the Polar Express movie.  She watched that movie about a hundred times before Christmas, so it was quite the special gift.  Even came with a ticket for the train!

Let me wrap up December with a few cute pics of Piper admiring the Christmas tree.  Her favorite ornaments got lots of hugs and kisses throughout the season.

She really enjoyed the tree this year!
Admiring her favorite bird ornament...one of the first decorations we put up.
Kissing the bird ornament...it was really sweet how much love she showed this bird.
Okay, let's move onto the new year.  I'll admit that I am going back and forth from my Facebook page to follow along with everything that's happened over the past few months.  I post on there all the time, so I definitely recommend joining us there since when I don't have to blog, I do have time to post on FB.

January 2015-

Let's just start with a video that will make you exhausted!  Piper is a highly energetic munchkin, and as you will see from this video, she never walks, she only runs.  I'm not even sure if she knows how to walk...


She is also  a dancing fool!  She dances to all kinds of music and even likes to dance on tables...better watch out for that maneuver!


I'm hoping this does not reflect future career choices, lol!

Of course she has to shake it to Olivia, too!

And now The Hot Dog Dance from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

What else can I say about January?  I guess I'll just share my favorite pics from that month, now that the videos have been posted. January was a busy month, but Piper continued to get more adorable each passing day!

Piper started to really take notice of her shadow...she is still fascinated by it! 
She discovered that everything is more fun when naked, including fishing! 
She continued along the path towards cutting new teeth...ouch!
She learned how to ham it up for the camera! 
She finally grew enough hair to put hair barrettes and pigtails in! 
Her arms got longer and therefore nothing has been safe since! 
She rediscovered her rocker and learned how to mount and dismount without much help, yay!
She got a new giraffe towel and after bath cuddles got that much better!
Moving on...

February 2015!

I'm enjoying the video/picture path down memory lane, so let's keep on it!

Piper turned 22 months in February! 
She has the best bedhead of any child I have ever encountered...more to come on this later! 
She started learning how to blow on bottles to create "music" 
She tries real hard, but not quite an expert yet :) 
She still sleeps like a little froggy angel!
We took a day excursion down to the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas.  Piper loved the room that told about slavery in the South, and it's never too early to learn important history lessons.  This room had a giant screen where shadows of slave men, women, and children would walk across, stop, and then their story would appear in writing above them.  She was entranced by this wall and listened to all I read to her, absorbing all she could.  She also like the music playing which was old slaves songs sung in the fields.  And to top it all off, there were hands-on instruments to play with that would have been handmade back in those days by the slaves.  All in all, she loved the museum and I think she'll enjoy going back again when she gets a bit older. 

The slave history shadow wall. 
Playing on of the many instruments. 
She really enjoyed this one! 
She was fascinated by everything there.
And she was very well behaved to boot!
Here she is playing the drums at the museum.

These next several pics are a mixture from two different snow days.  The third and fourth ones are from the first snow we had.  The others are from the biggest snowfall we had where Piper finally got to build her Olaf from Frozen.  It was a very wet, heavy snow, so he's not that big nor beautiful, but he still gave worm hugs!  I will let the pictures speak for themselves, no captions needed.










This was Piper's first ever snowball fight!  
Slight disadvantage due to the non-fitting mittens, but she had a blast!

Finally, even though this is a little out of order, Piper made her first Valentine card for her "uncle" David.  She did a great job painting, and then decorating with special objects such as hearts, butterflies, and flowers.  I helped with the trim and placing the glue where she told me to, but the rest was her creation. 

Didn't it turn out fabulous?
Seems a little shy here, doesn't she?
That same evening Piper invented a new game she calls "Hide Ghost."  She is obsessed with ghosts thanks to one of her favorite Olivia episodes.  The rules of the game is that she picks someone to be the "ghost" and makes them stand behind the curtains and act like a ghost making ghostly sounds while she runs and pretends to be scared.  This game is still one of her favorites! 

Uncle David playing the ghost for Piper!

Just a few more videos and we are going to be caught up to March, yay!  This first video cracks me up.  Piper was playing with the top of the cat scratcher, and for the life of me I cannot begin to decipher what she is saying.  Feel free to take a crack at it in the comments section!  I should give away a prize for the best answer!

Your guess is as good as mine!

This particular video was shot while her cousins were visiting.  Piper likes to sometimes talk in a real deep voice that has been dubbed "Evil Piper."  Another reason I adore her.  The girl has got charisma!

Evil Piper is not really evil, just an FYI!
Finally, this last video is Piper playing with one of her newest obsessions, balloons!  She loves to roll around on them, bounce on them, throw them, etc.  One of these days she's going to pop one and that'll probably be the end of balloon time fun!

See what I mean about going to pop one some day?

Oh, I almost forgot the other balloon video!  This one I just love for the Elvis hip role she added to her repertoire of dance moves. Watch for it, it's hysterical!

Did you catch it?  Too funny, right?

Okay, moving right along!  We are now finally caught up to the current month, yay!!!  You do not know how happy this makes me.  So without further adieu, I give you the month of March!

Remember when I said keep an eye out for more bedhead, well here you go!  Best bedhead ever!


My personal favorite pic of them all! 
Have you ever seen better bedhead?
This next series of pics were taken all in the same day, I think.  The first two show off how much longer her pigtails have gotten and that she still loves her kitchen, thank goodness!  



What do you do after you cook?  You eat!  For some reason I just love these two pics.  And now that I think about it, I think they were taken on a different day, but who cares because she looks adorable in them.  Plus, look at them soup eating skills!



Now back to the day she was in her kitchen.  These overalls, by the way, were the ones from Thanksgiving.  I wasn't able to get too many good pics of them, but now you can kind of see how cute they are.  The back of them looks like the back of a turkey, with all the feathers and such.  So glad she got to wear them again.



I adore this picture of her, she looks so grown up.
In these next pics Piper is learning how to plant potatoes with her Papa.  She had such a blast digging in the dirt and putting the potatoes in the holes.  I so wish I had been a true witness to the event, but I was at work.  So happy my mom captured such a wonderful event for me!
How cute is this pic? 
Yay!  Dirt! 


Putting the potato in the hole... 

She learns so much from her Papa.
So glad we all share our lives together in one happy household.
Potato ready for planting! 
She's a natural! 
i
I cannot wait till we get to harvest these.
 I bet Piper is going to be so proud of all her hard work!

The next four pics are kind of random.  First, Piper decided to decorate my head with her reusable stickers.  I think she did a fabulous job!  The following two are from the night she decided pants were no fun.  These are the only pics publishable, lol!  And the final pic is of one of the towers she's been building.  She has gotten seriously into architecture as of recent and her skills with the smaller blocks of various shapes and sizes astounds me.  By age three the average child should be able to build a tower of 1" x 1" square blocks.  She is way above and beyond that....and this is one of her small towers.  She is very meticulous, too.  She really studies angles and what can be balanced on what.  I'm truly amazed at her building skills at this point in life.

It's quite the fashion statement!
No pants is awesome! 
Block anyone?  Trying to be nice to avoid wearing pants! 
Like I said, this is one of her small creations.
And she has continuously improved since this pic was taken.
Finally, we get down to this week.  We've had our first bout of real Spring weather and have been enjoying playing outdoors.  We are lucky to live with nothing but woods behind the house and a creek that runs along the side.  Piper has been thoroughly enjoying the Spring weather and we have been thoroughly enjoying her delight in discovering the natural world around her!

Nothing says happy like clapping and smiling!
She found one of her old toys and wanted to play with it in the backyard.
In these pics she is down by the creek, throwing things in to watch them float downstream.  I see paper boat races in our near future!

Curls galore! 
Getting ready to float some pine needles. 
Making sure everyone is paying attention to her cuteness! 
Offering someone else a chance to throw things in the creek...such a sweetie!
So now that I have finally caught everyone up on the events of the past few months, it's now time to catch you all up where Piper is at regarding her development.  First off, she's still super smart, almost frighteningly so.  I've already touched on her building skills, but her language skills are really off the charts.  She knows her ABC's and can recognize most letters by sight, something that I've read is closer to a 4-year-old level.  She can also count to twenty, we are now working on counting to thirty.  By the way, she can count to 20 in Spanish, too...and all on her own without any help.   She knows all her colors and shapes, including stars, hearts, diamonds, and ovals.  Once again, this is usually on the level of a 4-year-old, so of course I'm amazed with how much she already knows.

As for her basic conversation skills, she is now communicating in complete sentences.  Not just two to three word phrases, but entire sentences.  She has her pronouns down, is getting her tenses correct as of recently, and man can she talk your ears off!  She is also very adept at giving orders, lol.  But she can follow instructions, too.  She doesn't always want to, but she can and does most of the time when she is not being stubborn.  She can even tell you elaborate stories with amazing animation and expressions, and mostly they start with "once upon a time," classic!  She is currently obsessed with ghosts, snakes, things lurking in the woods, but not in a frightened way.  This probably stems from some of her favorite TV shows such as Peter Rabbit and Olivia.  She also enjoys Peppa Pig, Team Umi Zumi, Doc McStuffins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and the Octonauts...those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. That brings me to another point...

She memorizes everything!  She has a great knack for learning songs and knows all of the songs from her favorite shows.  Her other favorite songs are Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, I'm a Little Teapot, Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me, and a myriad of other classic children's songs.  She loves to sing and will sing her own tunes at times.  I believe she has picked this up from me as I have always dubbed myself the Weird Al Yankovic of moms because I am constantly making up songs about whatever it is we are doing.  Sometimes these songs are made up tunes and other times I use already familiar songs and just change the words.  I've been doing this with her since before she was born, so I think it definitely must have rubbed off on her.  And she has such a beautiful voice. She can already carry a tune and if there are motions that go with the song, she's got those down, too.

Speaking of motions, she also, as you have seen from some of the video clips (and I have tons more than are posted here) loves to dance.  As a matter of fact, we already have dance routines we've been working on together.  My once ballerina self has already begun teaching her turns, shoulder sits, and dips of all sorts.  She loves combining all the movements and performing...just like her mama! Other movement related things she likes is being spun in circles, riding on mommy like I'm a horse, sitting on my shoulders and flipping of onto the bed or other soft landing area, running at top speeds...this she has many styles of doing such as the one where she bends forward with her arms stretched out behind her and pretends she is flying.  She has also mastered how to do a forward roll all by herself now.  She been practicing those with help for some time now, but just this past week she just up and started doing them by herself.  She's very athletic, and I like that a lot.  Right now she is trying to master the fine art of jumping with both feet off the ground. It's hit or miss with that one still, but it's more hits than misses now.

Okay, I need to wrap this up even though I feel like I have so much more to say...guess I could write another post, right? I should note that she is officially in panties full time now, no more pull-ups unless it's bedtime.  And the last three nights she has been dry upon waking, woohoo!  Also, I am enrolling her in a Montessori school for next school year so she can start socializing with children her own age.  Expect to see a lot about that once it gets underway.  I think their teaching methods are right up Piper's free-spirited alley.  The school I'm sending her to has Yoga, a fantastic chef who does around the world themed lunches every week, and she will be learning Spanish and sign language, too.  It's a small school and I cannot wait to see how she does.  I know the teachers will fall instantly in love with her, because who can resist her precious little self?

Last thing, I promise.  I have a birthday vacation to Dallas all planned out for her in a couple of weeks.  We are going to the aquarium, maybe a Renaissance fair if the weather is nice, and possibly the Perot museum if the weather does not cooperate.  I cannot wait to take her on her first big out of town adventure.  She's going to love it!  Don't worry, I plan on taking lots of pictures and posting sooner than three months out!

As for now, I will let you all get back to planning your weekends.  I once again apologize for the massive gap between posts, but expect more frequent posts in the future.  Just had to get my work life to cooperate for a change and now that I'm writing again, I remember why I started this blog to begin with.  Everyone enjoy their weekends and I'll be back soon!

P.S.  Don't forget to vote!

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